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Alabama 538 articles

VW Emissions Cheat Should Spur Passage of Auto Industry Whistleblower Law

VW consumer fraud

Driven by General Motors’ deadly ignition switch disaster and the record number of safety recalls in the auto industry last year, the U.S. Senate began pushing for the support of a new bill designed to encourage whistleblowers in the auto industry to speak out by offering strong whistleblower protections and incentives. Now, after Volkswagen‘s recent admission that it programmed its diesel-powered TDI model to cheat on emissions tests, there are suddenly millions more reasons why the bipartisan Motor Vehicle Whistleblower Act should pass the House of Representatives. The hugely successful False Claims Act whistleblower provisions, which have helped the U.S. ... Read More

Tire Blowout Blamed For Deadly Birmingham Crash

crash Bham, Arkadelphia - image by W.D.E. 2 U via Twitter

Authorities investigating a deadly crash in Birmingham, Ala., that claimed the life of a commercial truck driver Thursday afternoon said that a tire blowout in another vehicle set off the chain of events. The crash occurred around 3 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-59 / I-20 West near the Arkadelphia Road exit when the driver of a Ford Explorer lost control of the vehicle and struck the tractor trailer. The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the driver of that truck as 56-year-old Charles Ward Miller of Ethelsville, Ala., in Pickens County. Mr. Miller was declared dead at the scene. ... Read More

Alabama joins multi-state investigation into Volkswagen emissions fraud

VW consumer fraud

Alabama has announced it is joining at least 27 states in an investigation of potential vehicle emissions fraud committed by Volkswagen. The multi-state probe plans to subpoena Volkswagen to learn more about the company’s diesel vehicle emissions. “We take any allegations of consumer fraud very seriously and will review the representations made by Volkswagen to its diesel customers in Alabama,” said Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange. The following states, including Alabama, have announced participation in the Volkswagen fraud probe:  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, ... Read More

Hyundai announces Sonata recall for engine problems, stalling risk

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Approximately 470,000 Sonata sedans are now under recall by Hyundai due to an issue with key parts of the vehicle’s engine that may cause it to fail. According to ABC News, the Hyundai Sonata recall only affects 2011 and 2012 model years featuring 2-liter or 2.4-liter gasoline engines. The vehicles were manufactured at Hyundai’s Alabama engine plant, where metal debris may not have been completely removed from the Sonata’s crankshaft area. If the metal debris was not completely removed during manufacturing, it could restrict oil flow between the connecting rod bearings, causing them to fail and put the engine at risk ... Read More

Whistleblower Case Uncovers Abusive Retaliation In Army Corps of Engineers


The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) ruled in favor of an Army Corps of Engineers whistleblower who documented months of extreme hostility and abuse by her superiors after she reported illegal and improper contracting activities within an Army program. Tommie Savage, a highly respected contracting officer at the Army Corps of Engineers Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., ultimately lost her job in 2009 after a period of excessive absences. The trouble started in late 2006, after Ms. Savage reported fraudulent activity in the Army’s “Ranges Program” and reported it through the proper channels. Her decision to do the right thing and ... Read More

Pharmacy recalls all sterile drug products due to contamination concerns


Alabama state and federal officials have ordered a recall on all non-expired drug products produced for sterile use and distributed nationwide by Medistat RX, LLC, in Foley, Ala., due to possible contamination that may be linked to several adverse events in patients. During an ongoing investigation, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials and Alabama state inspectors observed significant deficiencies that raise concerns about Medistat’s ability to assure the sterility of drug products that it produced. The recalled products were distributed between Nov. 1, 2014, and Sept. 3, 2015. Administration of non-sterile drug products intended to be sterile may cause serious ... Read More

China Rejects Drywall Litigation, Says Its Companies are Immune From U.S. Law


Plaintiffs suing Chinese companies that made allegedly defective drywall likely face an uphill battle as the Chinese government, which owns the manufacturing companies, shields them from litigation in the U.S. As many as 4,000 U.S. homeowners claim that sulfuric drywall made by Taishan Gypsum Co. Ltd. emitted fumes that corroded metal wiring and appliances, destroyed their belongings, and made them sick. Many of the homeowners, who live in Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Virginia, say the defective drywall has forced them to abandon their homes, leaving them bankrupt. Damages could exceed $1 billion. Lawyers representing the plaintiffs have been ... Read More

Southern Hospice Provider Pays $5.9 Million To Settle Whistleblower Lawsuit


A chain of Southern hospice care providers has agreed to pay the U.S. $5.9 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that it overcharged Medicare for patient services by misclassifying the type of service provided, making it eligible for higher federal reimbursements. Three former employees of the Baton Rouge, La., based St. Joseph Hospice chain filed the lawsuit in Dec. 2012 under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act in a Gulfport, Miss., federal court. The False Claims Act allows private individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government when they have sound evidence of fraud or other illegal ... Read More

Blue Bell ice cream is back on the market in select stores

Blue Bell Ice Cream 1

After nearly five months since the initial Blue Bell recall production stop, Blue Bell Creameries has now reopened distribution of its ice cream to select stores in Alabama and Texas. According to the USA Today, there will be five phases to reenter the market in 15 different states considering the only Blue Bell ice cream being produced is in Sylacauga, Ala. The first phase include distributing Blue Bell ice cream to stores in Montgomery and Birmingham, Ala., as well as well stores in Houston, Austin and Breham, Texas. The Blue Bell recall began in April when at least 10 people ... Read More

Alabama Contractor Sentenced For Lying About Worker Safety

Working on the Wall

An Alabama steel and roofing contractor has been sentenced to three years of supervised probation, 30 hours of community service, and penalties totaling $55,000 for lying to federal investigators conducting a probe into worker safety after a work site incident that seriously injured three workers. Marcus Borden, who runs his contracting company from Russellville, Ala., pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to federal authorities on May 13, 2015. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in March 2013, Mr. Borden was supervising a five-man crew on a roofing project In Cordova, Ala., when a severe thunderstorm ... Read More